How are people to know that we are disciples? Today's Leaflet reflects the heart of the gospel-love. It is easy to over sentimentalize love-to require of it a Hallmark aura when in reality, love is doing the work.
LOVE (Scripture Readings)
A NEW commandment I give unto you, That ye love one
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
. . . If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these ? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me ? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me ? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
John xiii. xv. xxi.
LOVE (Tilden's Meditation)
LOVE is something so high that only the word, God, can compass its meaning. It is the heart of Christ. It is the life of the world. Love leans with John on the Redeemer's breast. It weeps with Peter at remembered sin, and distills from those penitential drops the elixir of a new life. It sits with Mary at Jesus' feet. It serves with Martha. It bids the man so lame with selfishness that he cannot take a step to help his brother, rise up and walk; yea, more, run, on errands of mercy. It touches the deaf ear, and the voice of the Lord is heard in the garden of the soul. The joy Love gives its possessor is God's own seal on its Divinity. The love of the Holy One is so deep toward the unholy as to love him out of evil into good. He lets His loving hand down to the lowest, that He may lift him to the highest.
How solemnly impressive are these questionings to the penitent disciple, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" thrice testing his love and ours! What a mighty legacy Jesus bequeaths to us of a work still to be done as proof of our love: "Feed my sheep"!